Minimally invasive techniques to treat heart disease
In some cases, heart disease can be treated using minimally invasive interventional cardiology techniques that use a catheter (thin, flexible tube) inserted into the arteries. The catheter is guided to the heart to open blocked arteries and improve blood flow. These advanced techniques are performed on an outpatient basis and offer a non-surgical alternative to treat many heart conditions.
Wuesthoff Heart Center's board-certified interventional cardiologists use a variety of advanced catheter-assisted techniques to treat heart disease:
- Diagnostic cardiac catheterization uses an x-ray machine to examine the heart with real-time images (fluoroscopy), and measure blood pressure, blood flow, oxygen levels, and collect biopsies and blood samples.
- Angioplasty is used to open blocked arteries.
- Stent placement, which is a small mesh tube placed in an artery, can improve blood flow.
- Ablation uses a tiny electrode to eliminate abnormal heart cells that cause arrhythmias.
- Coronary atherectomy is used to remove hardened plaque from a blocked artery.